226 Field Company Royal Engineers 1945

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Graham Anstey, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. Graham Anstey

    Graham Anstey Member

    Does anyone have any information on 226 Field Company during 1945? It appears that my late father was transferred to them from 17 Field Company sometime around July 1945. It also appears that he was stationed at 200 POW camp in Wales around this time, and wonder if 226 were posted to 200 POW at the time.

    When I get the chance (probably in the summer) I'll head to Kew and see what the War Diary says, but in the meantime any information would be gratefully received.
  2. mark abbott

    mark abbott Junior Member


    I have the WD (1940-1945) for the 17th Field Coy RE and would be happy to check if you father is mentioned.
  3. Graham Anstey

    Graham Anstey Member

    Hi Mark,

    My father was Sapper JC (John Charles) Anstey 2071053. As far as I can make out from his records he was transferred to 17th Fld Coy around 07 March 1941, and was later transferred to 4th Fld Sqn sometime between February and July 1942 (when he was posted from UK to the Middle East). Apart from that I have next to no information about this time period. Even if he's not specifically mentioned, it would be useful to have an overview of what the Coy was doing during this time. I know he was based on the Isle of Wight at some point, but don't know whether it was at this time or before.

    Many, many thanks
  4. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi Graham

    From a RE Order of Battle (OOB) document I found online many moons ago.

    226th (South Midland) Field Coy RE 1st line TA; 3 Sep 1939: Reading; embodied with 48th (South Midland) Infantry Division. Disbanded Sep 1945+.

    48th (South Midland) Division - Wikipedia

    Hope this helps

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  5. Graham Anstey

    Graham Anstey Member

    According to my father's military records he was posted to 226 Field Company RE in 1945 (possibly in South Wales) after being posted home injured from Italy (Salerno). I can't find any information on this company during the 1945. The National Archives only seems to have only have war diaries up to 1942.

    Was the unit renamed/renumbered?
    Were the war diaries lost?

    He was posted to 200 POW Camp (Llanover near Abergavenny) at around this time, and any info on this camp would also be welcome.
  6. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Update: Threads merged now.

    There are other threads too which can be id'd via the Tag, including one with a photo of the company taken in 1942 - is he there? Earlier in the war it was part of 48th (South Midland) Division - Wikipedia and after Dunkirk it had this new role. That division did not go to Italy.

    You asked two questions, the first was: Was the unit renamed/renumbered?

    From this online research 226 Field continued to exist through WW2, probably into 1946; with campaigning in North Africa and Italy.

    They were:
    From a undated Tweet: https://twitter.com/WW2Explorer/status/1495332751930703873

    One 226 Field officer was awarded the George Medal, added as it has dates for his award:
    Link: Operation Freshman – The History Room

    There is an indication that 226 Field Company was in North Africa, as their C.O. was wounded in 1942. See pg. 216 in: https://www.nzsappers.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/1977-September.pdf **Update See Post 11, this information is incorrect**

    So 226 Field Company did go to Italy, the other threads stop in 1942-1943 with references to training in the UK and the Salerno landings (Op Avalanche) were on 9–16 September 1943, which led to his return to the UK.

    A Greek Cypriot served with 226 Field in Italy 1944-1946. From pg. 26-27 in: Glyn Hughes 1931 - 2014

    It would help if you posted the records here and the expertise available can go to work.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2022
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  7. Graham Anstey

    Graham Anstey Member

    Oops, applogies for the duplication, and thanks for merging.

    As far as I know my father was transferred to 226 Fld Coy in October '44 and was posted to 200 POW at that time. He stayed with them until his discharge. This ties in with the very little he talked about at that time - he befriended a couple of POWs and learned German from them. I've attached scans of the relevant document for info. I'm interested in the 226's activities in the UK at this time, and any info on the POW camp at Llanover.
  8. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I've read through the links and I can't see anything suggesting they left the UK. Are there links to threads which says they were at Salerno?

    The war diaries through 1943 and 1944 are all WO 166, which was home service. There are also no decorations awarded for 226 in Italy.
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  9. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    He was wounded in North Africa with 4 Field Squadron in November 1942. This was with 7 Armoured Division just after El Alamein. 4_fd_sqn.JPG
  10. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    From reading the two service record cards what stands out and explains his wartime service are:

    27/1/1944 Embarked for UK from the Middle East as a member of British North African Forces (BNAF) - so not from Italy.
    14/4/1944 From the X List posted 21 Army Group 2nd echelon, to 4 Field Squadron (For what X List means refer to: http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/x-lists-service-records.15663 and WW2 army records In summary struck off unit strength for medical reasons)
    14/9/1944 Posted to Y List (explained well on: Info on Y List please! In summary Non-effective)
    21/10/1944 Posted to POW Camp - not with Royal Engineers
    9/7/1945 Posted to 226 Field as his original unit (which I suspect was then in Italy, as explained in Post 6)
    16/12/1945 Discharged

    It is worth noting that by 1943 and certainly by 1944 the British Army was overstretched, notably with a shortage of infantry and it appears he was no longer fit for active duty. After D-Day the number of German POWs held mushroomed and many, if not all were brought over to camps in the UK - hence his posting to a POW Camp. After VE-Day and the end of hostilities in Europe, demand for manpower declined and even more so after VJ-Day in August 1945.

    As an aside there is a thread on 4 Field Squadron, which Graham has posted on and they are a different unit, a squadron supported armour and a company supported infantry: 4 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers war diary
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2022
  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

  12. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    In the link above to the obituary of Brigadier “Ronnie” Reynolds, DHLK states, “I was his 2IC in 226 Field Company RE…” and “I always had the impression that being wounded in the Western Desert in 1942 had rather slowed up his career…”

    However, SHMB says, “Then it was that a tellermine had lifted him out of his jeep (he was OC 1 Field Squadron at the time), and deposited him in hospital. After some anxious months he recovered…” 1 Fd Sqn were in North Africa/Middle East in 1942.
  13. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    That is why I wrote: There is an indication that 226 Field Company was in North Africa... I have added an update to that Post.

    What is SHMB please?
  14. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Hello David,
    DHLK and SHMB are the initials of the contributors to Brig Reynolds' obituary.
  15. Graham Anstey

    Graham Anstey Member

    Thanks all for your replies. I think I have everything up to and including his return to the UK sorted. He then spent some time in Northfield psychiatric hospital in Birmingham (many personal letters addressed to him there). I'm trying to work out what happened after this.

    I have in my possession his Gerboa Desert Rat badge which appears to be the style for the invasion of Europe, but no evidence he was ever involved in the landings, or saw service in Europe. Attached is a photo of his medals and badges.

    Attached Files:

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